Between the years of 1936 to 1940, the Catholic High School was recognised as the Sino-English Catholic School. It was the only missionary school where both English and Chinese were taught due to its Chinese parish background. With a reputation for quality education, demand for enrolment increased. Even after the erection of a three-storey building at 222 Queen Street, a further extension had to be built on 51 Waterloo Street in 1936 to accommodate the high student demand.
The $30,000 extension took over a block of dilapidated old houses situated in the grounds of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul. It became known as the Chinese Catholic High School and had 15 classes that could accommodate 600 pupils. The church grounds acted as a space for the students as well, since the school had no field.
The campus was divided into buildings for upper secondary, lower secondary, and primary classes.
From Education to Art Appreciation
The school changed its name to Catholic High School and moved to its present Bishan site to cope with the high student demand in 1992. The all-boys school continues to be grounded in its philosophy of bilingualism and biculturalism.
In 2009, the former primary building of Catholic High School at 8 Queen Street was developed into an arts house under the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and was renamed SAM@8Q.
Today, most of the original buildings have disappeared due to additions and alterations over the years. But through the changes, the name of the school remains on the wall of the building on 222 Queen Street as a tribute to its history. Two of the former pillars also remain at the entrance of present-day 222 Queen Street.
As of June 2021, the building is undergoing additions and alterations as part of the revamp of SAM.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.SG are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.SG does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of April 2021 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.